With just a couple of days remaining before the midterm elections many people, including me, are bemoaning what appears to be a new low in political discourse that suggests a complete abandonment of America’s position as the standard-bearer of liberal democracy. If the evidence of yelling, screaming, head stomping, and complete disregard for the truth is any indication, on Wednesday, November 3, we could be facing a new Congress that is likely to turn the rotunda of the Capitol into a cage-fighting ring to settle petty political scores. And to be fair, neither party is innocent here. There are nasty people on all sides. It bears remembering, however, that American democracy has always been a messy and chaotic business and extremism is nothing new. Furthermore, extremism, like that which marks much of today’s Tea Party rhetoric, has a way of becoming diluted over time while offering new leaders a springboard to interpret underlying principles in more attractive ways.
Archive for October, 2010
On October 29th, fifteen amazing women will be honored at the 18th Legacy of Women Awards luncheon. These women all play lead roles in our community as artists, business owners, educators, community leaders, and more. It is because of these women that the Dallas/Fort Worth community is strong.
The luncheon will be put on by SafeHaven of Tarrant County, a nonprofit organization that strives to end family violence. With emergency shelters in Arlington and Forth Worth, they currently shelter 174 women and children, making them one of the largest shelters in Texas.
The Omni Hotel in Downtown Fort Worth will house the luncheon. While honoring these women is powerful and exciting, an important guest will also be in attendance: the Keynote Speaker is The Royal Chef Darren McGrady, former chef to Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth (so cool!). The deservedly royal treatment for such wonderful women. Congratulations to those who will be honored this Friday.
At least that’s what one art gallery owner told me tonight at our swanky concert-painting-wine drinking and media affair. Turning the parking plaza of our 92-year-old building into a concert venue was another light bulb moment for our Mad Hatter CEO Jeff Hinson, and with the stylish guidance of Events Diva Elisabeth Jordan, it was a rousing success. (I say was — it is actually still going on outside my door.) The star duo was painter Rolando Diaz and pianist Seth Simmons, who have developed a wonderful concept called Euforia, where Ro paints as Seth plays. It works. And the whole thing played even better in the open air with the cacophonous roar of Commerce and Jackson street traffic providing background ambiance. Art is a blessing that elevates, especially in the cool October Dallas night with the skyline shining as bright as the crescent moon.
Don’t get us started about the wonders of Parigi. We are such big fans of chef/owners Janice Provost and Chad Houser. Uber-niceness with culinary talent to spare. And their restaurant, which has anchored Oak Lawn for 25+ years, is an institution that is never stuffy, always fun. Best Caesar salad ever. They are wizards with pesto and garlic, and have all sorts of clever offerings like the shrimp and crab martini, wild mushroom medley pizza, pappardelle of lobster, shrimp, crab and mushrooms in a tarragon pesto cream sauce … yowza! I often satisfy my cheeseburger fetish with one of Chad’s “chef special gournet burgers” with a side of delicate french pomme frites. I said don’t get me started!
Parigi is catering our big shindig Thursday night, an artsy “painting & piano” affair called “Euforia.” It’s the first of our coolio “Under The Arches” Series where we turn the parking area of our 95-year-old building on Commerce into a restaurant/theater. It may be sold out but you can look for tickets here. One thing’s for sure: the food will be great!
The You+Media offices are getting a major upgrade, thanks to artist Rolando Diaz, whose colorful canvases are going up as we speak. Diaz, a Cuban-born painter whose family fled Castro’s oppressive Communist regime when he was very young, is performing at a special YPM event this week. It’s called “Euforia Live, Under the Arches” and it involves Diaz creating a custom oil painting right before your eyes as renowned pianist Seth Simmons provides a stirring soundtrack.
Relentlessly positive and bursting with creativity, Ro Diaz is a force of artistic nature. He has traveled the world and harbors a special affinity for Europe. He remains keenly connected to his native Cuba, and much of the work he creates is intended to connect us to the plight of the poor who need our support. Diaz is a truly generous, likable guy (shown here with You+Media events director Elizabeth Jordan) who spreads joy. Ro, you are always welcome!
Sunday, October 10 was supposed to be a glorious Sabbath of reckoning and jubilation. The Rangers would vanquish the Rays to become ALDS winners, and next door at JerryWorld, the Cowboys would smack down the Titans to balance their record at 2-2. Neither happened. And the Cowboy loss was so embarrassing and painful, that all over Big D football fans looked out over the evening sky and wondered, “What now?”
With the gross incompetence of our coaching staff, it’s quite clear that the most talented team in the NFL has no shot at the playoffs, and Jerry Jones’ dream of playing in his own Super Bowl is as likely as a Democratic tax cut. Wade “Captain Kangaroo” Phillips looked his usual confused self, and even the celebrations went badly awry. What a mess. We fans are left in a perpetual Monday funk, our hearts broken, and even Gordon Keith’s solutions for dealing with Cowboy-induced depression won’t work. Jerry we need a new coach, or at least 500,000 prescriptions for Prozac to dispense to melancholy Cowboy fans. Trust me, the coach will be cheaper.
In the last fifty years, the American experience has hurtled forward from Kennedy’s Age of Camelot, to the Age of Aquarius, and now the Age of Apaté (a-pat’-ay), named for the Greek goddess of deceit whose evil spirit was released once Pandora opened her box. The lid on Pandora’s mythical box (actually a jar) was loosened by the alchemy of Ronald Reagan and the ambition of Mikhail Gorbachev that ended the Cold War. When Gorbachev’s glasnost and perestroika-styled reforms slipped perilously toward revolution the Soviet model imploded. However, what was once widely considered a great victory over godless communism – the collapse of the Soviet Union – quickly became affected, or perhaps more accurately infected, by the spirit of Apaté. Hubris and deceit were easier and, let’s face it, more fun than humility and honesty. With the Soviets out of the way, we Americans were free to assume a wide berth of exceptionalism to expand our reach and reign. And, we did it on the wings of Apaté.